Police act to halt taxi attacks

Date published: 26 February 2014

POLICE have launched a crackdown to protect vulnerable cabbies after a spate of local attacks.

Operation Lance will see officers work alongside the council and taxi firms, sharing information between cab companies, drivers and police. A police newsletter will keep drivers informed of developments.

Inspector Alan Humphries said police will do whatever they can to halt the attacks: “This operation highlights how seriously it is being taken. We are not going to tolerate this.”

One cabbie robbed at knifepoint for around £200 has spoken of his fear of working late night weekends - and hasn’t done so since he left hospital.

Mohammed Ishraq (45) had a knife held to his stomach and one to his throat after collecting a fare in Werneth on the evening of February 12.

He suffered wounds to his arm and hand after one man got in the front and a second got in behind him. They demanded cash and held their knives to the driver’s abdomen and throat.

Mr Ishraq said: “I was in hospital overnight, but I am so worried. I have five children and a wife to support, but since it happened I have had to stop working at 7pm on weekends. I’m too scared to be out alone at the time.”

Among measures discussed at a meeting between police, council and cab companies this week were CCTV in cars and taking additional customer details.

So far six people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, but none have been charged.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161-856 8927 or 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.